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Criminal Law Blog NSW

A person who commits an assault in self-defence will not be criminally liable

Section 418 of the Crimes Act 1900 provides that a person who commits an assault in self-defence will not be criminally liable if the acts committed by the accused were to defend himself or another person, or if he committed the assault while terminating the unlawful deprivation of his liberty or that of another person, or if he committed the assault to prevent someone from taking his property, destroying or damaging it, or to repel a trespasser to his property.

The accused can raise self-defence when he presents his evidence. The prosecution then has the right to present evidence to prove that the assault committed by the accused was not reasonable within the specific factual circumstances of the case. That is to say, the force used by the accused was beyond what was necessary to defend himself, to free himself, to prevent the taking of his property or to repel a trespasser.

What ‘reasonable force’ used by the accused must be proportional to the danger posed by the acts of the victim. The accused must use only enough force to repel the attack. The personal characteristics of the accused: his height, his weight, his age, the condition of his health and any other physical characteristics will be taken into consideration to determine if the force he used was reasonable.

To defeat the claim of the accused that he committed the assault only in self-defence, the prosecution can present proof that the accused did not believe that he was in any danger or that there was no necessity, no reason for the use of force that brought about the assault. The prosecution will present evidence that there were no reasonable grounds for the accused to hold the belief that it was necessary to defend himself.

If criminal charges have been brought against you and you are accused of assault, consult with a criminal lawyer if self-defence is available for you to use. A good lawyer will explore all possible defences that you can raise.

This article is just a summary of the subject matter being discussed and should not be regarded as a comprehensive legal advice for you to defend yourself alone.Criminal lawyers Penrith ,Criminal lawyers Wollongong, Criminal Lawyers Parramatta,

Disclaimer : This article is just a summary of the subject matter being discussed and should not be regarded as a comprehensive legal advice for you to defend yourself alone. If you are charged with criminal offences, it is recommended that you seek legal assistance from criminal lawyers.

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